Judith, lines 289b-349 [end]

The Assyrians throw down their weapons and run away, and the Hebrews attack them from behind, utterly destroying the army.  Few survivors returned to their homeland.

The victors then loot the corpses and acquire immense spoils of war.  They bring back for Judith the sword of Holofernes, his bloody helmet, and his enormous coat of mail. They also give her many treasures.

For all this Judith gave glory to God.

Let us do so, also.

Judith, lines 199-289a

Inspired, the Bethulians prepare for battle.  The Beasts of Battle (wolf, raven, and the eagle eager for eats) rejoice.  The Bethulians attack the Assyrians and are winning the battle.

Holofernes’ men gather at his pavilion, but no one dares awaken him after his assumed lechery with Judith.  The men begin to cough and make noise and grind their teeth, but still no one comes out of the tent.   Finally one soldier risks going inside and sees Holofernes’ decapitated body.   He rushes back out to the other soldiers and laments that he has now seen the sign of the upcoming defeat of the Assyrians: the headless body of Holofernes.

Judith, lines 94b-198

Inspired with courage by her prayer, Judith seized Holofernes by the hair and slices through half of his neck.  But he was not quite dead yet, so she struck him again with the sword and his head came off and fell on the floor.  Now he would be in [what seems like an Old Norse version of] hell.

Judith’s servant put the head in a bag, and the two women left the Assyrian camp, escaping to their city of Bethulia.  There were soldiers guarding the gate, and Judith spoke to them and told them to rejoice because God was going to grant them victory.

Judith had her servant unwrap the severed head and hold it up to the crowd, and she spoke to the Bethulians, giving them a Braveheart-like speech to inspire them to fight.

Beowulf, lines 1-11

Here are the first eleven lines of Beowulf to help my English 208: Anglo-Saxon Literature class prepare them for memorization and recitation.

Judith, lines 1-94a

Judith has been captured by the evil Holofernes, the ruler of the Assyrians.  Holofernes holds a banquet at which he and his men become very drunk.  Later, her commands that Judith be brought to his bed.

Holofernes’ bed is surrounded by a golden fly-net so that he can spy upon his soldiers, but none can see him.  Once Judith is in the bed pavilion, the retainers inform Holofernes, who intends to defile Judith.  But Holofernes collapses in drunkenness.  Judith draws his sword and calls upon God for strength.